We're starting out easy here in the Men of L'Engle Project*. Paul Laurens appears in just one book, And Both Were Young. No multi-book character arcs to discuss here, just one of L'Engle's early creations.
Fair warning: Expect spoilers in these posts. It's kind of hard to analyze characters without giving away plot. If you're lagging behind on your L'Engle reading, get caught up, then come back here.
And Both Were Young is mostly set in an all-girl Swiss boarding school, but Paul manages to score plenty of page time, starting when main character Flip runs into him (literally) at a chateau they're both visiting.
- Doesn't like "institutions." At first, this gives him a good excuse to be hanging out with his free-range father when Flip goes wandering off campus. Later revealed to be the result of concentration camp-induced PTSD.
- Good at skiing. And teaching skiing. To Flip.
- Interested in medicine. Shows promise (has treated many animals), but interest conflicts with his disinclination to go to school.
- The strong, silent, moody type. "There was always grief in his eyes."
- "I knew right away that I liked you, so I never bothered to think why."
We know from the appearance of one of her portraits in a later book that Flip does realize her dream of becoming an artist, but since she herself isn't present, we don't know anything about her personal life. It could go either way, I think. Either she and Paul are about to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary, after a lifetime of dividing themselves between New York and Paris, or else Flip still pulls out a silver necklace once in a while, and smiles when she thinks back on her first love.
*And if you've got a better name, seriously, send it along.